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The Role of Behavioral Interventions in Reducing Residential Water Usage: Case Study from Cape Town, South Africa
Last registered on December 20, 2016

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Role of Behavioral Interventions in Reducing Residential Water Usage: Case Study from Cape Town, South Africa
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0000928
Initial registration date
December 20, 2016
Last updated
December 20, 2016 3:55 PM EST
Location(s)
Region
Primary Investigator
Affiliation
School of Economics, University of Cape Town
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Environmental Policy Research Unit, University of Cape Town
PI Affiliation
Sussex University
PI Affiliation
CICERO, University of Oslo, Norway
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2014-06-01
End date
2017-06-30
Secondary IDs
Abstract
South Africa has moved from a situation of water stress to one of water scarcity due to pressures from population growth, climate change, over-consumption and urbanization. We study the effectiveness of non-price instruments at promoting water conservation in the residential sector in Cape Town, South Africa's second largest city. Using inserts in monthly costumer bills we test nine treatments in a randomized control trial on XXXX households. The treatments used can be classified in four broad groups: financial framing (focusing on the financial losses/gains involved in water usage), social comparison framing (where household consumption is related to that of its neighbors), public goods (focussing on water savings as a common or public good) and social recognition (rewarding households who save water by making their names public).
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Brick, Kerri et al. 2016. "The Role of Behavioral Interventions in Reducing Residential Water Usage: Case Study from Cape Town, South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. December 20. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.928-1.0.
Former Citation
Brick, Kerri et al. 2016. "The Role of Behavioral Interventions in Reducing Residential Water Usage: Case Study from Cape Town, South Africa." AEA RCT Registry. December 20. http://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/928/history/12705.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
This study on the role of behavioral interventions in promoting water conservation is to be rolled-out to residential consumers in the City of Cape Town, South Africa. Our unit of randomization is the household and our outcome variable is household water consumption (liters per month). Participating households have been allocated into nine treatment groups (which receive the interventions or behavioral messages) and a control group (which receives no intervention). The nine behavioral messages are to be sent via billing inserts with the monthly municipal water bills.
The interventions can be described in terms of:
A. Information Provision - Increasing salience
B. Financial Gains & Loss Framings
C. Social Norm Framing
D. Pro-social Framings
E. Social Recognition Framings
Intervention Start Date
2015-11-06
Intervention End Date
2016-05-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)

Reduction in Daily Average Water Consumption
Increased Water Savings
Reduced Expenditure on Water per Household
Improved consciousness around water use
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Participating households have been allocated into nine treatment groups (which receive the interventions or behavioral messages) and a control group (which receives no intervention). The nine behavioral messages are to be sent via billing inserts with the monthly municipal water bills. Each household will receive a monthly insert in their bill for 6 consecutive months.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Household level Randomization
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
No clustering
Sample size: planned number of observations
413 000 X 6months
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Note: our sample comprise both indigent and non-indigent households.

Control total: 48,207
T1 total: 49,928
T2 total: 34,000
T3 total: 33,688
T4 total: 34,073
T5 total: 40,001
T6 total: 40,058
T7 total: 44,174
T8 total: 43,930
T9 total: 44,421
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Cape Town, Commerce Faculty
IRB Approval Date
2015-10-29
IRB Approval Number
Visser 28.10.2015
Post-Trial
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Intervention
Is the intervention completed?
No
Is data collection complete?
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
No
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
REPORTS & OTHER MATERIALS